Genealogists are at the mercy of the information gatherers and after them, the indexers. Information gathered is only as good as the questions asked and how much information the responders really knew. When the information taken is hand-written, or the physical record is damaged, then the person compiling an index or repertoire is challenged on spelling.
Delphine LaFleur (or Gagean dit Lafleur depending on when and where) marries Prosper Raymond in 1886, just when good record keeping is taking hold in New Hampshire. Unlike later marriage dates in the St-John-the-Baptist of Suncook repertoire, early marriages were mostly recorded without the bride’s and groom’s parents’ names. After this marriage record, Prosper and Delphine Raymond drop off the face of the earth. Don’t appear on a census, nor are any family baptisms or deaths recorded. Where did they go?
Enter 2010 and the Mormon Family Search Pilot – http://www.pilot.familysearch.org. Looking over my brick walls, I think to myself, give Delphine a fresh look. Let’s see if FamilySearch’s indexers come up with something new.
A search under Delphine LaFleur comes up with an incomplete marriage record to someone named Emon and two birth and two death records for children in the right time period where the father’s name is given as Severe Emond. Not quite similar to Prosper Raymond, not quite matching, either. However, I had been watching Sever Emond’s family because they lived next door to my other LaFleurs in the census, and the wife’s name was Delphine.
The census takers complicated matters further by calling this family Edmond and Josephine Hamel in the 1900 census. Luckily, they were living in the household of Delphine’s sister, Catherine Bibeau, and one of Delphine’s and Sever’s children found on FamilySearch was residing with them. Delphine is called Josephine in another census as well. Whether she sometimes went by that name or the civil authorities were recording it incorrectly is anybody’s guess.
Whereas a search for Prosper Raymond never yielded any meaningful hits, Sever Emond made sense right away. He immigrated from Yamaska, the same town where Delphine was born.
The locality where family events occur also made this a difficult family to follow. While this couple was married at St-John-the-Baptist in Suncook, which has repertoires for baptisms/marriage/deaths, their children were born and died in Hooksett, NH, where there’s only a marriage repertoire and I have to rely mostly on census, state records, and town reports. It was essential to have the correct name.
Luckily for me, new tools and new indexers are coming online all the time. Another brick wall falls!